Missoula’s Tracy Stone-Manning sworn in as new BLM director

Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland, right, swears Montana’s Tracy Stone-Manning in as the new director of the Bureau of Land Management in a ceremony on Wednesday. (Interior Department photo)

Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland this week swore Tracy Stone-Manning in as the official new director of the Bureau of Land Management, capping what had been a lengthy and contentious hearing process.

Stone-Manning, a Missoula resident, was confirmed by a close vote in early October. She represents the first director of BLM to be confirmed in more than four years.

“I recognize that there is work to be done to rebuild the BLM, and I look forward to connecting with the important stakeholders that rely on its strong management,” Stone-Manning said in a statement. “Our public lands are one of America’s finest ideas, and I am ready to get to work alongside a remarkable team to ensure our outdoor spaces are protected for current and future generations to enjoy.”

Stone-Manning most recently served as senior advisor for conservation policy at the National Wildlife Federation. Before joining the federation, she served as former Gov. Steve Bullock’s chief of staff, where she oversaw day-to-day operations of his cabinet and the state’s 11,000 employees.

Stone-Manning also served as the director of Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality and as a regional director and senior advisor to Sen. Jon Tester.

In April, President Joe Biden nominated Stone-Manning to take over the BLM, which had been diminished under the Trump administration. The former “acting director,” William Perry Pendley, was never confirmed and was accused of creating policies and management plans that favored oil and gas companies.

He also moved the agency’s headquarters to his home state in Colorado, a move that prompted hundreds of employees to resign.

“The Bureau of Land Management plays a critical role in Interior’s efforts to address the climate crisis, expand public access to our public lands, create a clean energy future, and preserve our nation’s shared outdoor heritage,” Secretary Haaland said in a statement.

“Tracy brings a wealth of knowledge in conservation and environmental policy to these efforts and a history of working with diverse communities in service to our public lands. I look forward to working with her to strengthen the bureau and advance Interior’s mission.”

Montana’s Stone-Manning confirmed as BLM director in close Senate vote